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Author Topic: Talk About Your Religious Beliefs  (Read 14073 times)

Posts: 247

« Reply #45 on: April 08, 2005, 12:09:26 PM »


I dig that approach to religion.  As an addendum to that, I'd like to put forth the idea that the tools of each religion are not as exclusive as people like to believe.  When stripped of exotic terms for simple ideas and when approached from the attitude of seeking to understand (as opposed to deconstruct or proselytize), there are many common elements between religions, though the expression of those elements differs significantly.  These differences in expression, rather than detracting from spiritual awareness, actually adds to it.  Simply put, it is because people, though sharing a common humanity, still remain individuals.  To speak of humanity and ignore the human seems to me kind of backward.  It is probably this tendency that has made me shy away from organized religion.

Posts: 864

« Reply #46 on: April 08, 2005, 01:11:25 PM »

Hmm...  why not?

My religion rawks because it's right...  Okay, seriously though.

I tend to consider myself to be fundamentalist Christian, I'm probably recognizably so in the classic, American pop-culture way (i.e. Bible thumping, hard line, all that jazz).  Let me see if I can lay it out rationally.

I believe there's a God in the traditional Abrahamic sense.  As the creator of all that is He (not that God is actually male, but I think there are some pretty good reasons for using the male pronoun) gets:

1. Perfect understanding of the way things work.
2. To make the rules (which of course is one of the reasons that He understands those rules).

So, when He makes some rules and says some things are bad, it's because they actually are bad.  I mean, He should know right?  Just because we may not fully understand why they're bad doesn't make them any less bad.  Now, that's not supposed to be a cop-out.  In fact I think that with enough experience and observation it becomes clear why this stuff is bad.

It's sort of like when you tell a child not to touch a hot stove.  There's a very good reason not to touch the hot stove.  The child's lack of perception of that reason does not lessen the validity of that reason.  And if the child touches the stove anyway, well their experience will show that you were correct all along.

This, by the way, is why condemnation of people is silly.  You don't get mad at a child for touching the stove, that's what kids do...  That doesn't mean that what they're doing is a good idea, and it doesn't mean that you approve of them doing it, but you don't blame them for it (well, at least not until they've been doing it over and over in the face of evidence to the contrary... maybe).

So, that gets me from a questionable premise "There is a God in the Abrahamic sense" (suffice it to say that I think that I have good reasons for it) to the things that I think logically follow, but it doesn't come anywhere near explaining why I think that the "traditional" Christianity has more of it right than any of the others.

I guess my only answer is that in my (admittedly limited) experience with religions and their tenets, I have observed Christianity to be the most consistent with what experience tells me is the way things actually work...

Admittedly a lot of this is based on comfort and familiarity, but I like to think that it's not really blind faith...

So, why does my religion rock?  Because it makes me a better person.  It teaches me to observe and to think more clearly.  It lets me meet some incredibly interesting, talented, and just plain awesome people.  Anyone who wants to join me... just ask :)

Oh, which reminds me... conversion.  The reason I think conversion is important is that part of my beliefs include the idea that other people are occassionally (or often) wrong.  I want for people to be right, since that would, according to my beliefs, make the world a better place...

Of course you have to approach that the right way.  The way I see a lot people approaching the whole "evangilzation" thing is pretty silly to me, but that doesn't make the ideas behind that invalid...


Current projects: Caper, Trust and Betrayal, The Suburban Crucible
Shreyas Sampat

Posts: 970

« Reply #47 on: April 08, 2005, 01:59:38 PM »

So, replying to Christopher's comment about Taoism:

Yeah, at some point in my past I read Zhuangzi and said to myself, "That man really understands his place in the world."

Chris Goodwin

Posts: 100

Beware ants reversing

« Reply #48 on: April 08, 2005, 02:49:44 PM »

I'm an atheist.  I don't have a lot more to say about it than that.

Chris Goodwin
Joshua A.C. Newman

Posts: 1144

the glyphpress

« Reply #49 on: April 08, 2005, 04:14:44 PM »

Quote from: LordSmerf
I believe there's a God in the traditional Abrahamic sense. As the creator of all that is He (not that God is actually male, but I think there are some pretty good reasons for using the male pronoun) gets:

What reasons are those? Because among many Jews, including me, using the pronoun "He" is considered idolatry.

Of course you have to approach that the right way. The way I see a lot people approaching the whole "evangilzation" thing is pretty silly to me, but that doesn't make the ideas behind that invalid...

"Silly" doesn't cover it. It's inherently disrespectful, corruptive, and is, at its core, groupthink. As the frequent subject of such attempts (homeless people tell me their conspiracy theories, too. I don't know what it is about me...), I'm very wary of such behavior. Christians have a lot of violence and horror to answer for when they consider their way "right" and worthy of advertisement.

So, look, when God said "Don't eat pigs, circumcize your children, sacrifice sheep, flour, and oil four times a year, and pay everyone who works for you at the end of the day they worked," was God wrong then? Of course not. Things change, right? The very fact that you have to pick and choose indicates that there is no clear answer to be gained from Torah. If there were, there would be no Talmud.

I understand that much of Christianity is based on a different covenant than that of Abraham, and that's cool - do whatever you want. But that means that the very core of the religious philosophy is based on negating the previous millennia of religious experience, not to mention the extraordinary things that happened in the centuries immediately predating Jesus' story.

Your right to make a fist - and conversion is often done with a fist - ends at the tip of my nose.

I'm not willing to say my religion rawks. Every day, I go about my life with a heart full of doubt, because when I don't doubt, I don't look closely - why look if you know the answer? - and when I don't look closely, all I see is what I want to see, regardless of what's there.

the glyphpress's games are Shock: Social Science Fiction and Under the Bed.

I design books like Dogs in the Vineyard and The Mountain Witch.

Posts: 467

« Reply #50 on: April 08, 2005, 06:18:41 PM »


Iím representing what has not yet been presented in this thread yet, a Catholic.

I am enthralled by many aspects of the faith structure.

I am in love with the verbal message and the message of the life of Christ.
I am in love with the message of a holy life being one in service to oneís neighbors.
I am in love with the message of continual striving for perfection!
I am in love with the message that we are all flawed and thus no one can claim to be holier (perfect) than any other.
I am in love with the message of love the sinner, hate the sin.
I am in love with the message of turn the other cheek.
I am in love with the absolute centrality of the message of forgiveness.
I am in love with the message of responsibility for ones actions as well as for the welfare to others.
I am in love with the message that we are all one family and really donít have a right to bicker with one another since we have all done something to bicker about at one time or another.
I love the fact that every priest and bishop can trace their history back in an unbroken line to the apostles.
I love the incredibly rich 2000 year collected repository of wisdom and writings.
I am in love with the idea that our perfect God came down to our imperfect nature to not only show us the way, but to suffer what we suffer.  He has taken the gift we offered to him, pain and suffering, and in return he gave us the gift of eternal life and infinite happiness and wisdom.
I love the fact that we are told very specifically that in evangelizing we are to do no more than call and if a person is not interested all we are supposed to do is walk away.
I love the message that the very best way to evangelize is to live the message.
I love the message that Christ lives in all of us and what we do to the poorest, the weakest and the most helpless among us we do to Christ himself.
I love the fact that God still acts in this world everyday creating miracles small and large.
    The miracle at Fatima on October 13, 1917 witnessed by approximately 70,000 people.  Not only were the people able to look directly at the sun with no damage to their eyes, the sun moved and danced about changing colors.  While all this may have been ďmass hysteria,Ē which I donít buy, every person there who had been waiting in a soaking rain and standing in mud were both clean and dry by the end of the miracle some 10 minutes later.  70,000 people!  I was reported by journalists, Dr.ís, government officials, letters by individuals, etc.
    Padre Pio in Italy who died in 1968 was a stigmatic who could soul read and this was done thousands of times Ė even to skeptics who came to debunk him.  Many were healed of ailments including a very young girl whose kidneys regrew after seeing him after hers had been removed in surgery.  The surgeon who removed them saw her after her return and was thunderstruck that what he had physically removed was once be seen in her X-rays.  Later Padre Pio could only eat the consecrated host, and this he would do but once a day.  To prove this was not a hoax he was placed into a hospital room for about a week under constant observation and was only allowed to have one consecrated host a day.  Not only did he not lose weight, but he actually put weight on!  Hundred if not thousands of miracles were witnessed around him.
    In Los Angeles at a small church called San Conrado Mission the priest there Father Aloysius Ellacuria had been seen many times by many parishioners to levitate during the consecration of the host.  He was active until he died about 20 years ago.[/list:u]
    I love the message of an absolute truth.
    I love the idea of an afterlife freeing me up from the fear of death.
    I love the idea that there is more to life than is apparent to our physical senses.
    I love the idea that all our lives have meaning and that we are loved to a level beyond comprehension.
    I love the idea that our lord can forgive any sin, just by the contrite asking.
    I love the idea that there is more merit in our Lordís eyes in the forgiving of a friend than there is in martyrdom.
    I love the idea of perpetual hope and that no matter how rough life gets I am not the only one to have suffered in a similar fashion.
    I love the idea by looking at our world and knowing that while we are commanded to make this one as good as we can, that we are only sojourning here and that there is an infinitely better one to come!
    I love the idea that no good deed, however small and private, goes unnoticed or unrewarded.
    I love the idea that we are challenged to increase our faith and understanding.

    I love the idea of infinite love and perfect wisdom!

    God Bless everyone!  Peace and goodwill to all!

Aure Entuluva - Day shall come again.


Posts: 370

Aidan Grey

« Reply #51 on: April 08, 2005, 07:04:56 PM »

Just because I haven't seen anyone else post on the pagan side of things (even though I know a few pagans have posted...)

I consider myself a contemplative polytheist / animist.

I don't believe in karma (except in the original 'consequences' meaning).
I don't believe in reincarnation (though I do believe in recycling...)

I believe in the cycle of life ( wolves eat deer eat grass eats....), and I belive in it applied on a greater scale. Namely, life comes with death, and you must kill to live, period. Recognizing that, I belive that we/I have an obligation to maintain community with all those spirits. In other words, there is an obligation to give equal to the amount taken. So, it supports veregtarianism, without requiring it.

I believe it's important to maintain relationships with the spirits and gods and ancestors around us, as a further corollary to the above idea.

I believe daily practice (meditation, prayer, sacrifice, etc.) is the way to maintain those relationships.

I believe that each individual must find the practices which fulfill their obligations for themselves.

That's why my religion RAWKs.

Aidan Grey

Crux Live the Abnatural

Posts: 22

« Reply #52 on: April 08, 2005, 08:36:46 PM »


Patron deity of the anomic outsiders alienated by Christianity's heavy fist. Fratricidal bringer-down of the twin towers.

The Temple of Set have no idea; they're just trying to blackwash libertarian Satanism.
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